The first local election in the city of Mostar since 2008 will take place on December 20 this year, the president of Bosnia’s Central Election Commission (CEC), Zeljko Bakalar, said on Thursday.
Bakalar pointed out that Thursday is the deadline for the CEC to call the election - 150 days before it takes place according to the law.
“After 12 years, the citizens of Mostar will be able to vote in the local elections,” he said, adding that the CEC decided to hold elections in Mostar within the same year as local elections across the country.
He added that the Mostar election is also one of the 14 key requirements the European Commission defined in its opinion on Bosnia’s EU membership application last year.
Bakalar said that every voter in Mostar will receive two ballots and that 35 city councillors will be elected.
The local elections everywhere else in Bosnia and Herzegovina will take place on November 15.
The reason behind Mostar not holding an election for 12 years is a 2010 ruling by the country's Constitutional Court ruling in which several parts of the election law regarding Mostar were declared unconstitutional. It was then up to the parliament to change it.
But the leaders of Bosnia’s main Bosniak and Bosnian Croat ethnic parties that won the election in 2008 could not agree on how to amend the law for more than a decade.
Only recently did the Party for Democratic Action (SDA) and Bosnia’s Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) finally reach an agreement on the issue.